Andy Malcolm, in Memoriam

Andy Malcolm

STC Rochester Chapter member and fellow Andrew (Andy) Malcolm passed away on September 4, 2017. STC will publish recollections of Andy’s career as a professor of engineering and science English at NTID, a researcher, and a published author who made many presentations at IEEE and STC conferences, who served not only STC but also IEEE and in the community.

In the Rochester Chapter, we remember Andy as a frequent attendee at meetings, always in good humor and encouraging newer members. For more than a decade, that was all of us. In 2006 Andy observed, “I think I am now the longest continuing member of the chapter. That seems strange to me as I remember well coming to a meeting at the home of Ralph Kepner…and meeting the many chapter members of those times.”

Andy joined STC in 1964, and joined the Rochester Chapter in 1966 when he moved to Rochester from Los Angeles. Andy had been chair of the Los Angeles Chapter, as well as editor and publisher of The Technograph newsletter and chapter treasurer. While in Los Angeles Andy also began work on the 1968 International Technical Communication Conference (ITCC).

In Rochester, Andy soon became active in the chapter, serving in many ways:

  • Program chair of the 8th Annual Seminar, 1967
  • Recording Secretary, 1967–1968; Vice Chair, 1968–1969; became Chapter Chair upon death of the Chair, and then was elected to another full term, 1969–1970; Chair Nominating Committee, 1970
  • Chair, Ralph Kepner Memorial Scholarships, 1974 through 1990
  • Program Chair of the 19th Annual Seminar, 1975
  • Employment Chair, 1976–1977
  • Became Chapter Chair for 1979–1980 when the Vice Chair not available; Chair Nominating Committee, 1980
  • Judge in the 1984 and 1987 Publication Competitions and Chief Judge for 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1989
  • Speaker at monthly meetings in 1970, 1976, 1982, and 1983
  • Seminar master-of-ceremonies in 1980 and 1981 and seminar keynote speaker in 1982, 1988 and 1989
  • Frequently responsible for arranging for and introducing speakers for monthly meetings, 1967–1995

Andy received many Rochester Chapter awards:

  • Excellence in Quality of Technical Writing and Excellence in Quality of Photography and Graphics for a technical manual, 1970
  • Award of merit for a graduate school report, 1973
  • Award for Distinguished Technical Communication for a periodical article, 1982 and 1983
  • Barbara Knight “Most Valuable Member Award” 1977–1978

Most recently Andy joined in celebrating the chapter’s Community of Distinction and Community of the Year awards at the 2013 STC Summit

Andy spoke at meetings of other chapters too, including Poughkeepsie, New York, Toronto, and Syracuse. He spoke at the Association for Business Communication-STC all-Canada seminar.

At the Society level in STC, Andy was chair of the writing and editing stem for the International Technical Communication Conference in 1968, a candidate for the Board in 1969, candidate for Second Vice President in 1982, manager of the ad hoc Committee on Certification from 1982 to 1986, a founding member of the Special Needs Committee in 2001, and STC Secretary in 2002.

Andy received an STC Award of Excellence for a technical manual in 1971 and a Distinguished Technical Communication award for a periodical article in 1983. By 1986, he was an Associate Fellow and had attended 14 annual conferences and made 10 presentations. He authored the section on chapter conferences in the Chapter Operations Manual. Andy was then elected a Fellow of STC.

In a 2012 interview (“50 Years in the Making: An Interview with Andrew Malcolm”) Andy was asked what he considered his greatest accomplishment in technical communication. He named his 1966 annual conference presentation “Use of Contract Labor for Technical Writing,” about managing temporary employees, republished by STC in the 1974 anthology Managing a Publications Department. He also named his 1980 presentation advocating use of word processing in technical writing. At that time writers used yellow pads or typewriters. One attendee thought using computers took more time; he did not realize computers captured keystrokes. Personal computers were first used in technical writing in 1980.

Andy’s long career in the forefront of technical communication has ended. His influence on fellow members of the Rochester Chapter endures. The chapter is grateful for his help and support, and will miss him.